Posts for Restaurant
Thursday 13th Feb 2014
As you’ll know, it’s Valentine’s Day this weekend, and it’s an event we look forward to every year. It’s a very special menu to prepare: Stewart, our Head Chef, enjoys rising to the challenge of creating a menu that will tantalise the taste buds on the most romantic day of the year. Front of house, Restaurant Manager Sarah-Louise is stoking the log stove, plumping the cushions and lighting the candles to ensure that Valentine’s Day really is a special evening for our guests at Crannog Restaurant. That’s how we do it here in the Highlands; how is St.Valentine celebrated in other parts of the world?
In the Italian city of Turin it was customary for an engaged couple to announce their engagement on this day. For a while before the day shops would be decorated and filled with all sorts of bon-bons. We’ve been known to have a few engagements over the oysters and champagne at Crannog Restaurant, so fingers crossed for this year!
In Spain it is customary for courting couples to exchange gifts and for husbands to send their wives a bunch of roses. If your significant other isn’t a fan of flowers we’ll bet they’d love a chocolate and almond heart from Crannog.
In Australia during the gold rush, miners who were flushed with new found wealth from the Ballarat mines were willing to pay a pricey sum for elaborate Valentines. Merchants in Australia would send orders of a thousand pounds at a time. We can guarantee our £29.95 St.Valentine’s menu is better value. ;)
Do you have any special Valentine’s traditions that are a bit different? Will you be joining us this weekend for a seafood treat?*
*We do have wonderful beef and vegetarian dishes if you or your partner prefers.
Monday 23rd Dec 2013
In 1989 fisherman Finlay Finlayson fulfilled his dream by transforming the little building on Fort William’s Town Pier into a seafood restaurant. The building, once used as a lookout point during World War 2, was used as a bait shed until the conversion. Here are a few photos of Finlay and his wife Lorna with construction in progress.
Crannog Restaurant has now been serving meals to locals and tourists in Fort William for 25 years and this is how our unique building looks today!
The restaurant prides itself in sourcing the finest ingredients from the waters around the West Coast of Scotland.
To see more of our past celebrations take a look at our Facebook page. Look at our timeline from previous years and you will see past big birthday celebrations including cakes to celebrate 10 years and 20 years of Crannog.
We will have more events during 2014 to celebrate our 25th year. Keep up to date by following us on Facebook and on our blog or feel free to comment below.
Monday 2nd Dec 2013
Lorna was delighted to welcome members of Fort William’s Chamber of Commerce to the restaurant recently. The Chamber has been holding its regular networking meetings at different venues throughout Lochaber in 2013, and this month it was our turn!
With 36 members in attendance, the restaurant provided an ideal location, with plenty of space to network and catch up beside the cosy fire. The fire certainly warmed guests on what turned out to be a rather chilly Autumn day!
Chamber members were welcomed with a drink on arrival; a choice of alcohol free cocktails – Lemon & Ginger Spritzer or Orange & Cranberry, or tea or coffee for those feeling the cold! As always, head chef Stewart MacLachlan produced a fantastic selection for our special lunchtime menu for the chamber members to choose from:
Roasted Tomato & Pepper Soup with Basil Pesto
Smoked Mackerel and Beetroot Salad
Crab and Apple Timbale with Salsa Verde
Roast Pork Belly with apple puree and garlic & pancetta mash
Smoked Salmon Penne Pasta served with Spinach & Parmesan
Spiced Lentil Cakes served with a chilli chutney
If you have any questions for any of our restaurant team or are looking for information on how to book our restaurant for a large group, please leave a comment below and one of our team will get back to you.
Thursday 7th Nov 2013
Having spent time ‘down under’ where he worked in both Melbourne and Sydney, he returned to his birthplace in Ireland for a time, working in various venues in and around Dublin.
We are glad to say that in 2008 Stewart returned to his beloved Fort William, where he now lives with his wife and young son.
“I love to source and forage for ingredients close to home. I have a few places I have discovered where I can guarantee to pick a feast! Chanterelle mushrooms, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and blackberries can all be found right here in Lochaber.”
Fortunately, Stewart also likes a spot of fishing! Stewart used to have a small boat which he loved fishing from, but these days he’s more likely to be seen catching a few mackerel from the basin at Corpach.
Demonstrating the Capabilities of a Professional Chef
In order to help school children discover an enjoyment for cooking and to demonstrate how easy cooking can be, Stewart was invited to take part in the “Seafood in Schools” event at Lochaber High School. Throughout his demonstration, his rapport with the children and his flair in the kitchen made a great combination; young talent from the school were definitely enticed into the world of cooking!
Stewart is passionate about minimising waste, so when asked which part of cooking he enjoys the most he was not the least bit hesitant:
“I love to use the entire fish; I don’t like anything to go to waste. One fish can be used to create so many different dishes. Take a monkfish; I can firstly use some of the innards and bones to create a stock; next I can use the flesh to make a main dish such as Pan-Fried Monkfish and Salmon; then part of the monkfish can be combined with other ingredients along with the flavoursome stock to make a bouillabaisse. The fish stock is used to flavour various sauces including accompaniments such as the creamed leeks served with the Pan-fried Monkfish and Salmon.”
Pan-Fried Monkfish & Salmon served with creamed leeks, spinach and clapshot
Crannog Bouillabaisse – poached seafood in a tomato-based broth with rouille
“My favourite desserts are always citrusy and fresh. For example, I really love the Lemon Sponge on the Autumn menu just now. It incorporates a traditional dish of Lemon Sponge and then we add a twist by serving it with lemon curd and basil ice cream.”
Lemon Sponge – steamed sponge with lemon curd and served with basil ice cream
Lemon Tart with orange mousse and candied fennel
Typical of a chef, Stewart thrives under the pressure of a busy day in the kitchen:
“During the day the most pressure is getting ready for service. Preparation between 8am and 5pm is the busiest time. Mornings start with filleting and stock making; preparing mousse and pastries. Soups are prepared next before moving on to sauces and the main dishes. This ensures all our food is as fresh as possible for both lunch and dinner service”.
Stewart’s favourite restaurant is The Kitchin in Leith, Edinburgh. This restaurant, led by the inspirational Tom Kitchin himself, saw it gaining a Michelin star within a year of opening.
If you have any questions for Stewart or would like to know more about the ingredients he chooses to use, please leave a comment below
Friday 18th Oct 2013
Getting ready to celebrate the festive season in style? For a fantastic meal in a stunning location think Crannog! Our chefs have created a particularly delicious Christmas at Crannog Menu 2013 which will be served from noon on Friday 6th December up to and including lunchtime on Tuesday 24th December. Our Christmas menu will be a stunning 3 course meal and offers good value for just £29.95 per person. There’s no need to pre-order; chef Stewart and his team are happy for our guests to make their choice on the day. Our chefs can accommodate guests with special dietary requirements too.
Throughout December we will also continue to serve our special menu at lunchtime for just £12.95 for 2 courses and £16.95 for 3 courses.
Our waiting team are here to offer the warmest welcome to you and your party. Groups of 6 or more are recommended to pre-book. All bookings made by 15th November will receive a FREE glass of festive mulled wine!
To enquire about making your Crannog Christmas reservation, give our restaurant team a call on 01397 705589 or email us email@example.com